How to Choose the Type of Screws for Your DIY Project
No matter what kind of DIY project you’re planning, there’s a good chance you’ll need some screws at some point. Screws are used to fasten two materials together, with the screwdriver entering the drive and generating torque to lock them into place. If you’re handy with DIY, you probably know the difference between a standard wood screw and a machine screw. However, not everyone is aware of the many different kinds of screws and what they’re used for.
There are millions of different screws out there, and they come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. Whether you need black screws, wood screws or screws for masonry will depend on the nature of the project. Choosing can be difficult, but this guide will show you the main types and features available.
Type of Screw
There are lots of different screws out there, which are all designed for different purposes. Before you choose, think about what you need your screw for and the kind of material you’re hoping to use it in. Screws are generally classed by the material that they’re used to fasten. Here are some of the main types.
Wood screws are used to fasten wooden materials, as you might have guessed from the name. For most projects that deal with wood, these are your best bet, as they’re less likely to damage the material and still provide the right amount of force.
These screws typically have a sharp point, allowing them to tap their own holes into a material with no need for drilling. The shank of the screw is also designed not to be threaded completely, so the head sits just below the surface of the material.
Machine screws are blunt-ended screws which are used more commonly when holding metal parts together. Unlike wood screws, they’re normally fully threaded, with the thread running all the way from the bottom to the head. The threads may either be fine or coarse, depending on the specific purpose of the screw.
You can find machine screws with all different kinds of heads and drives, allowing them to be used in different ways. They also come in lots of sizes, colours and materials, giving you more options over the type of screw you want to use.
The size of the screw is an important consideration, as it will affect how much force it can apply to the material. If you need a screw capable of supporting a heavy load, it’s best to go with a larger size. However, large sizes in thin materials can look unsightly or cause damage to the surface you’re screwing it into. You can find fastener size guides online, and make sure you always check the measurement of the screw before you buy.
Colour, Material and Finish
Aside from the above features and sizing, you should also consider the colour, material and finish when choosing your screw. Materials including brass, steel, stainless steel and nylon are available depending on your needs. When looking at the material, think about where the screw is being used and whether or not it needs to be corrosion-resistant. Don’t forget to consider the load that the screw will be supporting, as some materials will have much higher tensile strength than others.
You can also think about aesthetics and how the screw will look in your project. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a screw simply because it looks better than the other options. However, you still need to think about the other factors first. Functionality is the most important thing to consider, then you can choose by the aesthetics.